A surreal assault on your mind
Sculptor Nancy Fouts provides a stimulating exercise in juxtaposition in her London show.
Putting St Jamie in
the dock – at last
In flambéing Jamie Oliver, the Lib-Con health secretary is striking a blow against a deeply patronising form of politics.
Now Israel plans to boycott the boycotters
A proposed Israeli bill to punish groups that call for boycotts is the ugly conclusion to today’s shallow Israel-bashing.
Abortion is more than a scientific issue
A contributor to a major report on ‘fetal pain’ says the facts are important, but a woman’s right to choose should be discussed in moral terms.
|Friday 2 July 2010|
Don’t leave satire to the satirists
The old school of political comedy shares too many of the new elite’s pretensions to be able to make fun of them.
Subverting those World Cup stereotypes
Apparently the Brazilians are ruthlessly efficient and the Germans play with flair. And commentators still talk crap.
Animal experimentation: nothing to be ashamed of
The scientific and political defensiveness about vivisection gives the green light to misanthropic animal-rights activists.
The barbarians are copulating at the gates
A new book hysterically imagines that the crisis of Western liberalism is being brought about by fecund foreign fundamentalists.
|Monday 5 July 2010|
Officialdom’s bullying of so-called fat kids
The branding of a perfectly normal 11-year-old boy as ‘overweight’ shows how mad the obesity panic has become.
I’m sorry, but breast-feeding is a bit creepy
A former breastfeeder says of course mums should be free to nurse in public, but why do so many of them want to?
Not such a New World (Cup) Order
The predictions of success for African teams and of triumph for Latin America’s ‘beautiful game’ were based on fantasy football politics.
|Tuesday 6 July 2010|
A systematic intrusion into people’s lives
The director of Big Brother Watch argues that Google has failed to respond properly to privacy concerns.
Why it’s time for Google to open up
The head of a privacy think tank says the internet giant should be more honest about what data it’s collecting.
Stop policing our thoughts, including the hateful ones
Kicking off spiked’s proposals for which laws should be thrown in the shredding machine of history: rip up the religious hatred act.
|Wednesday 7 July 2010|
Kids deserve nice schools and good education
Labour’s school building scheme was a poor substitute for raising educational standards, but axing it is a bad idea.
What’s the future for innovation?
Four commentators will debate the potential for IT and telecoms at Thursday night’s spiked debate in London.
Five years on: the lessons of 7/7
The bombings in London in 2005 were homegrown, nihilistic acts — not part of an international terrorist conspiracy.
|Thursday 8 July 2010|
Lymelife: infected by the American Dream
Despite its predictable warning about personal ambition, Derick Martini’s comedy is a cut above the usual indie fare.
Bringing smokers to their knees
A French poster unwittingly reveals the kind of relationship the therapeutic state wants to have with tobacco users.
Set children free — by trusting adults
We can only give kids the independence they need if we have faith in other people to look out for them.
Don’t tinker with the vetting rules: scrap them
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act is based on a poisonous assumption: that every adult is a potential abuser unless state-approved.
|Friday 9 July 2010|
Investigating the politics of privacy
So it’s not The Wire, but at least ITV’s new drama Identity is an intriguing exploration of the surveillance society.
England: football’s kings of flopability
The only thing that was more tired than the English players was the litany of excuses for their failure.
Down with the
With its positive approach to the future, Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist is a breath of fresh air in today’s smog of misanthropy.
|Monday 12 July 2010|
We give too much of ourselves away
Labour MP John Robertson worries that a lack of education leaves many blind to the dangers of the internet.
Privacy cannot be an afterthought
Lib Dem MP Tom Brake calls for dialogue between government and internet companies prior to product deployment.
We must assert our rights
Derek Wyatt, former MP and chair of the All-Party Internet group, says that Google is not entitled to our private data.
Google is watching you!
MP Robert Halfon argues that we need to stop internet companies from creating their own surveillance society.
World Cup final: a victory for football bull***t
The boring Spanish deserved to win, but spare us the moralistic guff about the beautiful game’s triumph over ‘Cloggers’.
Tibet: still a ‘buffer state’ for posh Westerners?
Kicking off a week of reports from Tibet, spiked’s editor finds that Lhasa is nothing like the mystical kingdom of British imperial fantasies.
|Tuesday 13 July 2010|
It’s time to cut this purposeless prince
While the UK tightens its collective belt, why must we put up with Charles, a useless, unelected feudal throwback?
Live Aid 25 years on – time to change the record
Bob Geldof’s charitable venture ushered in an era in which Africa once more appeared as the white man’s burden.
Chinese officialdom embraces ‘Shangri-La’
The Chinese authorities use the idea that Tibet is somehow ‘different’ to justify the lack of democracy and development.
Who turned Raoul Moat into Rambo?
The police authorities and media were the ones who seemed most delusional about the fugitive gunman’s powerful image and anti-hero status.
|Wednesday 14 July 2010|
Energy crisis? We’ve been here before
Around 400 years ago, Britain faced another problem of dwindling energy resources: ‘peak wood’.
Ireland: a jobless recovery is no recovery at all
Those espousing austerity measures for the UK might want to look at the bitter experience of those across the Irish Sea.
Are Tibetans being ‘seduced’ by modernity?
Western activists are often disappointed to find that Tibetans aren’t keen on living lives of peaceful, contemplative poverty.
Turning us into a nation full of suspects
In the latest in spiked’s series on laws fit for the scrapheap, Tim Black argues for the UK’s snooper’s charter: the RIP Act.
|Thursday 15 July 2010|
How Jon Gaunt became a free-speech martyr
A High Court ruling against the ‘shock jock’ confirmed that the state can pick and choose what we’re allowed to hear.
What’s criminal about a drink in the park?
As part of spiked’s series of law-busting demands, a Brighton resident explains why he’d like to free the city of booze bans.
Investing the Dalai Lama with unearthly powers
In one of their first interviews with a Westerner since the 2008 unrest, Tibetan officials wildly claim that the ‘Dalai clique’ is behind everything.
|Friday 16 July 2010|
My top five moments from World Cup 2010
While the football itself might have been below par, there was still plenty to savour from the past month in South Africa.
Rev: keeping faith with intelligent comedy
A witty sit-com about a vicar who is not from Dibley is in stark contrast to most of the BBC’s bland, safety-first comedy output.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place
Tibetans are caught between a Chinese authoritarianism that treats them as undeserving of liberty, and a shallow Western solidarity that treats them as incapable of exercising liberty.
Why more really is more
A vital new book calls for a counter-offensive against the idea that economic growth and mass prosperity are no longer desirable.
|Monday 19 July 2010|
An oily, underhand demand for censorship
Calling for ExxonMobil to stop funding climate-sceptic groups is really a demand that these groups be silenced.
A prejudice in search of a scientific disguise
The Royal Society’s two-year study of population seems to have already decided that there are ‘too many people’.
Banning the burqa is an assault on secular values
The fools who want to obliterate the face veil in the name of Enlightened values clearly don't know what Enlightenment is all about.
|Tuesday 20 July 2010|
Stop fighting each other!
Instead, big ICT companies and national regulators need to work together to set out international privacy standards.
A dozen reasons to stub out the smoking ban
Musician Joe Jackson on why it’s time to extinguish this illiberal, undemocratic, junk science-inspired legislation.
The sorry state of political protest
Patrick Hayes speaks to the weird and not-so-wonderful campers facing eviction from the ‘Democracy Village’.
Mandelson’s ‘revelation’: New Labour is history
The ‘Prince of Darkness’ has published his party’s political obituary – and been pilloried by erstwhile Labour allies as they still cling to the corpse.
|Wednesday 21 July 2010|
Coercing people into a brave new digital world
A government-backed campaign to get the entire UK adult population online threatens to make cyber slaves of us all.
The unhealthy obsession with Africans’ sex lives
The panic about footie fans getting HIV in South Africa exposes the moral colonialism of AIDS campaigning.
Big Society: there’s more to politics than the PTA
There are some good instincts behind the Lib-Cons' BS agenda. But it risks reducing politics to the level of community cakebaking.
|Thursday 22 July 2010|
Stop this asset-stripping in the art world
Museums aren’t businesses and they shouldn’t be selling off their treasures to pay the electricity bill or mend the roof.
Electoral reform alone won’t resuscitate politics
In a sweaty Westminster room, Tim Black joined 60 Tories who talked more about how we vote than what we vote for.
A ‘cycling revolution’? On your bike, Boris
When cyclists are continually told that their mode of transport is saving humanity from doom, it’s no wonder so many of them are annoying pricks.
|Friday 23 July 2010|
The rise and fall of the cockney Pele
Feted as a youngster, new Liverpool-signing Joe Cole has spent much of his professional career giving the ball away.
Tony and Barrie: the queens of family life
C4’s film about the world’s first gay parents was both thought-provoking and tacky at the same time.
The dangers of international aid
A new book exposes the problems with Third World aid missions, but ends up replacing NGOs’ black-and-white view of Africa with its own.
|Monday 26 July 2010|
A Big Society with small ambitions
The jury is out on whether David Cameron’s flagship initiative will really reduce the role of the state in our lives.
Why mad inventors don’t survive the Dragons’ Den
The hit BBC show reveals the bean-counting cautiousness and lack of entrepreneurial spirit of today’s capitalists.
The Queen of England vs a pantomime fascist
The expulsion of Nick Griffin from a palace garden party shows how desperate the political class is to keep the BNP as their pet bête noire.
|Tuesday 27 July 2010|
The purgatory of France’s revolutionary Terror
Danton’s Death at the National Theatre is a thrilling study of how social relations melt into air during revolutions.
Don’t cancel Love
Parade – make it better
The deaths of 20 revellers is a terrible tragedy, but we shouldn’t respond to such events by putting life on hold.
The Afghan War leaks don’t tell us The Truth
Journalists’ increasing reliance on leaks is turning them into passive recipients of information rather than active seekers of truth.
|Wednesday 28 July 2010|
The backwardness of Catholic-bashing
Far from being enlightened, the attacks on Catholicism ahead of the pope’s UK visit are illiberal, censorious and ignorant.
The speed-cam debate: calm down, dears!
Speed cameras are neither scarily Orwellian devices nor the saviours of pedestrians from rampaging motorists.
Even grotesque fantasies should not be criminalised
Of course child sexual abuse is a heinous crime that should be punished. But fantasising about child sexual abuse should not be.
|Thursday 29 July 2010|
We need more Hurricanes in modern-day sport
Alex Higgins stood out in an era when sportsmen tend to have every crease of personality ironed out of them.
Plonking the Amish on a London estate
Amish: World’s Squarest Teenagers provides an enlightening and upbeat insight into teenage life.
Hans Blix’s Stalinist rewriting of history
Far from being anti-war heroes, UN weapons inspectors paved the way for the bombing of the ‘bastards’ and ‘moral lepers’ of Iraq.
Why more and more people feel ‘mentally ill’
Yes, the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM is mad, labelling even shyness a disorder. But it didn’t create today’s therapy culture.
|Friday 30 July 2010|
How to be a ‘dudelike’ mum
Zoe Williams’ witty and insightful Bring It On, Baby joins a tiny handful of new books calling for solidarity between parents and a war of resistance against patronising parenting propaganda.
Assisted dying: a product of pessimism
This occasionally meandering critique of assisted dying may be written by a priest, but that should not detract from the sharp insights and cogent criticism contained within.
Brits: trust each other, or else...
Anthony Seldon’s book on how to restore trust in Britain is a hastily put together manual for how to coerce people into having faith in each other and institutions, relying on anecdotes, pop-philosophy and polls. It’s not to be trusted.
Choosing our children’s traits
Should parents be free to create ‘saviour siblings’? To have boys and no girls? What about making sure their baby is deaf? A fascinating new book explores these modern moral dilemmas.
Delivering an ‘Aftershock’ to the economic debate
Philippe Legrain’s Aftershock is a lucid and open-minded introduction to the world economy. But it makes the common mistake of blaming bankers for the current economic crisis.
Rescuing the Enlightenment from its exploiters
Many of today’s self-styled ‘Enlightened thinkers’ actually have little regard for the freedom of conscience and principle of autonomy that underpinned Enlightenment thought. Tzvetan Todorov gives them their comeuppance.
East Germans don’t have a monopoly on nostalgia
Although the GDR was little better than an open prison, a surprising number of its former citizens hanker after the old days. Such a longing for old certainties exists elsewhere in the West, too.
In defence of privacy
Wolfgang Sofsky’s Privacy: A Manifesto is the finest defence of freedom, autonomy and human dignity published in years. We could do worse than use it as a springboard for reclaiming the unpoliced space.